CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The day shift for the Charleston Police Department, along with other members of law enforcement in the Capital City, were called to a home in an upscale Charleston neighborhood for a serious call on Monday morning.

Tony Hazelett

Around 11 a.m., 911 fielded a call in which the caller claimed to have shot his parents and his brother. He further claimed he was holed up in his house on Dunlevy Road in the South Hills neighborhood of Charleston. The man on the other end of the 911 call said those he had shot weren’t breathing. He said he had shot them with a shotgun and there was an assault-style rifle under a bed. He also said he would shoot anyone who came to the house.

Charleston Police Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett said the response was full, but also measured.

“It’s a scene where you don’t want rush in and get a policeman or anyone else hurt. We held back and tried all measures including putting a drone in the air over the house,” said Hazelett.

Soon a woman who was inside the house came outside to investigate what was happening.

“We had a talk with the female and went to the house to determine it was a false call,” he said.

Hazelett said the call actually came from an out-of-state number and fell under the circumstances of “swatting.” Swatting happens all across the country and involves a false report of an over the top crime to elicit a police response. In most cases, the caller hopes the response will rise to the level of calling out a department’s SWAT team.

It’s unclear who made the call or why. Hazelett said there’s always fear pulling multiple resources on a false alarm call could be a set-up to slow the response to an actual crime in another part of town. So far, there is no indication that was the case in Monday’s incident. According to Hazelett the city expended a lot of resources on the call before determining it was a false alarm. Nearby Holtz Elementary was also placed on precautionary lockdown.

A Charleston police cruiser crashed on South Ruffner Road on the way to the scene.

An investigation is underway, but so far there is no indication as to who made the false call.